Dodge E-Mails, Sweepstakes Target Northeast

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Looking to capitalize on the growing popularity of NASCAR in the Northeast, Dodge dealers in the region are running an e-mail campaign and "Choose Your NASCAR Race" sweepstakes through Aug. 10.

"There was no direct pitch or special offer that would drive people to the dealerships," said Robert Tuchman, CEO and founder of TSE Sports Entertainment, the New York-based agency handling the promotion for Dodge. "But through the sweepstakes the plan was to build the database and gather information on potential customers and current customers and use that in order to prepare for future campaigns."

E-mails went to an internal database of customers and prospects taken from auto shows and visitors to Dodge dealerships and its Web site.

Tuchman would say only that the number of e-mails was in the tens of thousands, and that the campaign so far had drawn several thousand entries.

He also called the effort a departure from Dodge marketing efforts, which are usually done on a national level.

"It felt that with the growing popularity of NASCAR among people in this region, along with the fact that it's a very tech-savvy area, this type of promotion would be a perfect fit," Tuchman said.

The text e-mails included a link to and a pop-up sweepstakes registration page. To register, consumers first filled out the entry form. They were asked to give information such as name, e-mail address, home address and occupation. They also were asked to say whether they were looking to buy another car and whether they were interested in receiving Dodge product information in the future.

Recipients also received more entries in the sweepstakes for providing the names of people they thought might be interested in the promotion. More than 10,000 names have been acquired through the viral component, Tuchman said.

The only difference in e-mails sent to the referred names was that they were notified at the start of the e-mail that they were receiving it because someone suggested they would be interested.

The grand prize is a trip for two to the NASCAR race of the winner's choice. It includes deluxe hotel accommodations and round-trip airfare. A first-prize winner and guest win a trip to the Brickyard 400 in August 2002. Two second-prize winners and guests get to live out their on-track driving fantasies at a driving school, experiencing the thrills that NASCAR drivers feel every weekend.

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